Indulging without Discomfort this Holiday Season

Posted On Thursday, 08 November 2018
Indulging without Discomfort this Holiday Season

The holiday season means spending time with family and friends while reflecting on what you’re thankful for. The season is also synonymous with indulging in delicious, decadent foods.

Between the office parties, family dinners and football games, the continuous splurging on comfort food at these celebrations is something to look forward to, but it’s also the reason that I call this time of year “heartburn season.”

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and some studies suggest that more than 15 million Americans experience symptoms each day. Consuming more rich food and sugary cocktails than usual during the holidays can make the problem even worse. To quickly recover from heartburn and indigestion issues, it’s best to come prepared with some easy solutions for relief.

Here are my favorite tips for reducing heartburn so you don’t have to skip out on your favorite holiday foods or suffer through discomfort this season:

Try Foods that Fight Heartburn

High-fat processed foods, sugar, and spicy or sour foods are some of the biggest culprits of heartburn. You can reduce symptoms of heartburn by limiting these triggering foods and including some low-acid foods on your plate during the next gathering. Fruits such as bananas and melons are good low-acid options, but stay away from fruits like blueberries and pineapples as they are very acidic.

For some healthy complex carbs, rice and couscous are great options. Veggies like broccoli, green beans, celery and cauliflower will also help reduce heartburn symptoms. Even potatoes can be a safe choice to add to your plate; just make sure you choose baked instead of mashed and skip the butter and sour cream.

Relax with Some Herbal Tea

Keep chamomile or ginger tea bags on hand to prepare after an indulgent meal or whenever you feel heartburn symptoms coming on. Both chamomile and ginger are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to ease digestive issues, so they can provide some relief from acid reflux and indigestion. As often as possible, try to substitute tea and water for drinks that provoke heartburn like alcohol, caffeinated and carbonated beverages.

It’s also important to take time to relax and take some nights off from the holiday madness, as studies have found that stress can contribute to acid reflux.

Reach for a Clean-Label Antacid

If you must reach for an antacid, steer clear of traditional over-the-counter heartburn medications that are filled with potentially harmful inactive ingredients like parabens, dyes, phthalates and talc. It’s easy to over-medicate on these for a quick heartburn fix, but taking traditional OTC medications too often can make matters worse. Potential dangers include kidney stones, kidney failure, constipation and diarrhea.

Luckily there is a cleaner option available now from a breakthrough company called Genexa that has cracked the code on creating clean-label medications that do not contain potentially harmful inactive ingredients. I’m proud to be on their medical advisory board as we continue to explore new ways to make everyday medicines cleaner. Heartburn Fix by Genexa is an antacid that relieves heartburn, acid indigestion, sour stomach and upset stomach. It is the first calcium carbonate-based antacid made with USDA Certified Organic and non-GMO ingredients, and is also gluten-free.

We might let our healthy diets slip up a little during this time of year, but we can focus on practicing natural healing relief methods for when your indulgences catch up with us. Above all, let’s not let heartburn ruin time with our friends and family this season!

Joel Kahn, MD

Dr. Joel Kahn, MD, is a practicing cardiologist in Detroit and a Clinical Professor of medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Michigan Medical School and trained in interventional cardiology in Dallas and Kansas City.

Known as "America’s Healthy Heart Doc," Kahn is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and maintains sub-specialty board certification in cardiovascular medicine. He’s author of multiple No. 1 best-selling books including, “Whole Heart Solution,” “Dead Execs Don’t Get Bonuses,” and his most recent, “The Plant-Based Solution.” Kahn is a regular medical expert on major national shows including, “Dr. Phil,” “The Doctors,” “Dr. Oz,” and “Larry King.”

He is owner of three health restaurants in Detroit and Austin, Texas.

Visit: on Facebook at: or follow @drjkahn

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